Progressive group says states have power to increase voter participation

07/18/2018 09:18 AM

By: Eva McKend

WASHINGTON-What if voting could be more convenient? A progressive think tank says states could adopt policies that could dramatically increase voter participation.

When America elected President Donald Trump, there were 92 million eligible voters who didn’t show up at the polls.

“It’s an astounding number and when we look at the 2014 midterms, that number rises to 143 million people who didn’t vote, said Danielle Root, Voting Rights Manager at the Center for American Progress.

The left leaning think tank says there are unnecessary barriers in the voting process and are pushing for:

  • Automatic, same-day and online voter registration,
  • Preregistering 16 and 17 year olds,
  • Expanding in-person early voting,
  • No-excuse absentee voting,
  • And for more opportunities for people to vote at home

“People think, why wouldn’t you have a birth certificate, but a lot of elderly Americans don’t have access to birth certificates. Not everyone has access to a driver’s license or a valid ID card. You have to worry about arbitrary voter registration deadlines where you have to register by a certain date weeks or even months before an election,” said Root.

The group is also calling for a restoration of voting rights for formerly incarcerated people. Florida, Kentucky, and Iowa have a lifetime ban for anyone convicted of any felony. But some conservative groups argue if you’re not willing to follow the law ( then you should not have a role in making the law. Many Conservatives have pushed for stronger voter ID laws and purging the voter rolls. They say it keeps the system well-regulated and free of fraud.

“Voting is a nonpartisan issue. Every individual, every eligible American regardless of their political affiliation has the right and should be encouraged to vote. We need to make this process easier for everyone,” said Root.

The group’s final recommendation also stresses the need to strengthen civics education in schools.


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